Leo Cullen admits it was Leinster's 'obsession' to get back to the very peak of European club rugby.
The province climbed back to the top of the mountain on Saturday with a nervy 15-12 win over Racing 92 in Bilbao.
Cullen captained Leinster to their first three European Cup triumphs, in 2009, '11 and '12, and this time around he was in the coaches' box as his team hung tough against a gritty Racing team.
"It’s bizarre really, watching the game in the box was pretty torturous at times!" he laughed. "And there was a feeling of relief at the end. I know fully the work that has gone on behind the scenes with so many people.
"We talked during the week about the work the staff put in; hours and hours and hours over a long period. It has been a big obsession for a lot of us to get back here again.
"Amazing satisfaction to see the players up there on stage."
This contest turned into a real arm-wrestle and Cullen admits it wasn't the game that they had planned for.
"The game wasn’t the way we thought it would pan out," he said. "Obviously the conditions were wet so we knew that it would be difficult to recycle the ball and that Racing would go hard at the ruck, which just meant the ball was slow quite often.
"I thought their nine, (Teddy) Irabaren, had a really good game, kept us pinned back, which meant we didn’t get that many good opportunities. We had to win ugly and that’s the sign of a good team."
Asked what got Leinster over the line, the former Ireland international said: "Staying the course; fighting to the very end.
"We talked to the players at half-time about just staying composed because there was a likelihood that we were going to get frustrated with certain parts of that game. They found a way – delighted with that."